A little history: I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie in theatres three times, and Captain Jack Sparrow became one of my all-time favorite characters. The only midnight showing I’ve ever been to was Pirates 2: Dead Man’s Chest. Life has changed a little in the last fourteen (!) years since Captain Jack first sailed in, but I was still pretty excited to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales this past weekend. You never can tell by the time you get to installment five of a series, but I intended to take it for what it was, and it was a fun time!
The movie circles back to plot threads left by Pirates 3: At World’s End, picking up with Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Henry is determined to rescue his father from Davy Jones’ curse, and thinks the answer is to find Poseidon’s Trident. He intersects with a series of characters after the same goal: Carina Smith, an astronomer and scientist branded as a witch; Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who wants it to rule the sea; and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his ragtag crew, who need the Trident to fend off Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew of the dead.
There’s a lot going on in here, and things move fast with few pauses between new crises, upheavals or full-scale battles. There are still ample funny moment, though they do tend to have some degree of franticness to them.
Jack Sparrow is still a lot of fun and I expect always will be; I especially enjoyed a (fairly brief) flashback to how he first became a pirate captain. It better showcased that weird and engaging mystery of never quite knowing how in control Jack is. Present-day Jack seems to have lost his grip on things a bit, though never on his ability to ride through an insane situation and come out standing. Continue reading “Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales”